2014 was a great year for racing a Viper 640, with major regattas in all four corners of the U.S., across Australia, and Europe. This coming year looks even more promising, as a full year of racing and Viper fun is already planned.

GULF YACHTING ASSOCIATION MAY GO VIPERING

The 30+ yacht clubs of the Gulf Yachting Association have been competing in their Capdevielle Regatta series for decades in club-owned Flying Scots. The GYA has been looking to replace the Flying Scots with a newer design that will be fast and fun to sail, and attract more people to participate in sailing on the Gulf Coast. Over the past year, Rondar Raceboats’ Paul Young and Dan Tucker have been working with the GYA in a focused effort to have the Viper 640 selected as the new GYA Capdevielle boat.

The commodores of the GYA have narrowed down the options to just two boats: the Viper 640 and the VX One, from a field of boats originally in contention. It’s now up to the GYA to make a decision. What does this all mean? Simply that the selected class will have 50 new sportboats sailing in the Gulf in 2017-2018 with another 50 to follow. That’s pretty big stakes for our class if the Viper is selected.

The Viper Class Association and Rondar Raceboats are putting on a full-court press to make sure the Viper is the GYA’s choice. The GYA’s Winter Meeting will be held at the Biloxi Yacht Club January 10-11 and a solid contingent of Viper and Rondar representatives will be on hand to meet and greet the GYA decision makers and also make a formal presentation to the selection committee. In attendance will be Viper Class President Jim Sears, Rondar’s Paul Young, Dan Tucker, and Juan Mauri, Viper Class Administrator Buttons Padin, and area Viper sailors Craig and Deb Wilusz and Don and Tracey Faircloth.

Stay tuned for an update in the next Snake Bytes as the Viper community seeks to become THE boat of the Gulf Yachting Association.

UPCOMING REGATTA SCHEDULE – 

IT’S TIME TO REGISTER

The Sarasota (FL) Winter Circuit is in full motion. Phil and Wendy Lotz, sailing with Luke Lawrence, dominated the first of three weekends (December 13-14) followed closely by Brad Boston. It was great to have Ethan Bixby (former North Sails St. Pete) in with the Hampton guys and they earned a solid third.

Some notable things to highlight: Stephan Michael, the new owner of #99 joined us in his first public Viper outing and Cliff Whatmore of Sarasota made his first outing in Jeffery Lee’s Viper 105. Both teams had a blast learning the ropes. READ MORE:

The Sarasota Winter Circuit still has two of its three weekend events to be sailed and there is still time to register so you can join the fun: Jan 10-11 and February 7-8. Twenty-one boats are registered to be racing so there will be plenty of action on the water and off. For more information or to register, click HERE.
The EFG Winter Cup will be bringing the Viper fleet back to the bright sun and warm waters of Miami March 1-2. The Notice of Race and Registration links can be found HERE.

Following on the heels of the EFG Winter Cup is Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sponsored by EFG (March 5-7) that includes the actual EFG Viper Pan-American Championship finals, the culmination of a full year’s worth of qualifying regattas. There are currently 18 Vipers registered with 30 or more anticipated including a number from the UK and Australia.

Sailing on the waters of Biscayne Bay always makes this event the highlight of the U.S. Viper season with a solid international contingent planning on joining the fun. Registration and information on The EFG Viper Pan-American Championship and Bacardi Miami Sailing Week can be found HERE.

FLEET PROFILE: BERMUDA
The 2016 Viper 640 North American Championship will be held in Bermuda and, to give us all a preview of what Vipering on Bermuda’s Great Sound will be like, Butch Agnew provided the following report on their recent racing:

The Bermuda Viper fleet now stands at four, three in Bermuda and one in the US. There is talk of other new owners and potential boat shares, and as such we are hoping to see the fleet grow in 2015.  In the fourth quarter of 2014 the Bermuda Class Association was formed, and members will start racing locally in the winter of 2015.

Current Fleet:

BER 73           Raggamuffin

BER 125         Smokin

BER 156         Honey Badger

BER 160         Overproof

Overproof is a U.S. based boat which will allow the local fleet to participate in the U.S. regatta circuit with more regularity. This will greatly assist the local fleet’s specialty in jive talking and consuming large amounts and promoting Dark & Stormys, the national drink of Bermuda.

Overproof competed in the High Performance Dinghy Open, better known as the “HPDO.” The regatta slogan: “Great racing, great friends, great beer.” was spot on and the Bermudian team was shown amazing hospitality while in the NY area. The event saw 30 boats competing in 8 races over two days, with the leader board constantly shuffling and 15 teams posting at least one race result in the top 5. Overproof managed to sneak into third place overall in what was an extremely competitive fleet with tight racing. More importantly Overproof managed to grab glory by making the November cover of Windcheck sporting the Dark and Stormy Black Seal kite.